The enemy of my enemy….Voyager looks for allies. Originally broadcast on January 22, 1996, this is Alliances.

The Episode:

Captain’s Log Stardate 49337.4 Alliances

After another disastrous attack on Voyager by the Kazon, Captain Janeway decides it is time to find help from someone to get them through Kazon space.

The Story:

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Voyager succumbs to a massive attack by the Kazon resulting in several wounded and a fatality aboard the Federation Vessel. Realizing that they need to do something to prevent further attacks, Janeway and Chakotay discuss the situation. Chakotay argues that it may be time for Janeway to accept that not all of the Federations standards are going to work in the Delta Quadrant as they can not survive if they continue to take damage and loose personnel.

Soon the issue gets worse as Janeway is confronted by former Maquis Crewman Hogan who demands to know why they don’t just hand over the technology the Kazon wants. Appalled by this line of thinking she is soon confronted by Chakotay. Suggesting an alliance with one of the Kazon sects, he warns her that while she is holding herself to Star Fleet regulations, she needs to start considering the lives of her crew before those regulations kill them all.

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After discussing the matter with Tuvok, Janeway calls a staff meeting to discuss the option of forming a Kazon alliance and it is soon determined that maybe allying with Seska and the Kazon-Nistrim is the best course of action. Although not pleased with the decisions, Janeway agrees to meet with Seska and Culluh to see if they can reach an amicable end. Neelix volunteers to also meet with the Kazon-Pommar on Sobras in order to see if they can reach an agreement as well.

Janeway meets with Culluh and Seska on Voyager and begins negotiations. Everything seems to be falling into place until Culluh makes it clear that he will not take advice from a woman when Seska tries to speak. Sickened at his treatment of Seska, Janeway calls an end to their negotiations and sends them away.

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Meanwhile Neelix finds himself having similar luck when he is captured by by two Kazon in a bar on Sobras. Tossed into a cavern with other captives he finds people from a race known as The Trabe who indicate that they would be willing to assist Voyager if Neelix is able to help them escape their captivity. Neelix agrees to help and partnering with a man named Mabus, he begins their escape attempt taking several of the captive Trabe children with him.

Arriving at the preset rendezvous, the crew of Voyager is shocked when Neelix is not there as expected. Giving him time to arrive the crew go about their duties. In engineering crewman Jonas and Hogan learn of the negotiation failure between Janeway and the Nistrim causing Jonas to begin considering his options. Soon it becomes apparent that Neelix has missed his rendezvous and Voyager heads to Sobras to determine what has happened to their Talaxian friend.

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On their way to Sobras, Voyager soon finds that an entire fleet of Kazon ships are heading toward them. Preparing for what may be their final battle, Janeway is shocked when they are hailed by the lead ship revealing Neelix and Mabus. It is soon revealed that the Kazon have, over time, stolen much of their current technology from the Trabe having once revolted against the Trabe many years prior. The Trabe are now a homeless people who are barely surviving. Soon Neelix explains that the Kazon were once little more than slaves to the Trabe but since the uprising things have changed. Although Janeway is not comfortable working with former slavers, Chakotay believes that they might have learned much from their experience with the Kazon. Realizing that they might not have a have any other options Janeway agrees to an alliance. Mabus soon suggests that Voyager and the Trabe send a message out to the Kazon to meet with all of the first Maje’s to negotiate peace. Janeway agrees and sends out the message.

As Janeway builds an alliance, Crewman Jonas contacts the Kazon in hopes to make an alliance of his own. Soon word gets to Culluh that Voyager and the Trabe have formed an alliance and have called a conference of Maje’s. Reluctant to go, he is encouraged to go and learn all he can about this new alliance.

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Soon Janeway learns from Neelix that there might be a Maje who plans to kill his enemies at their conference. Determined not to allow this to disrupt the conference preparing for any issues that may occur. Soon conference begins and things go unexpectedly well. Before long Mabus requests that Janeway leave with him and she realizes that the assassination attempt has begun but not from the Kazon, instead it is from the Trabe. Warning the Maje’s to take cover Janeway, Tuvok and Mabus are beamed to Voyager just as a Trabe vessel levels the conference location. Although Voyager manages to drive off the offending vessel, the damage is done and now the entire Kazon people hate Voyager.

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Back on the ship Mabus is furious at Janeway claiming that she ruined a chance at peace in this sector. Janeway ends their alliance and has him and his people removed from the ship. Knowing they are indeed alone, Janeway announces to the crew that they will have to tighten their defenses. They are now determined more than ever to follow the principles and ideals of the Federation at all costs.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

While I really want to like this episode it seems a very long way around to just get to the point that this is a Federation ship and it will act as such. I mean, I get it, really, Janeway says it pretty much every episode and even though she violates that kind of thinking on a regular basis, she sure seems to have convinced herself that she believes in it.

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That being said, It was really cool to get even more background into the Kazon and finally meet the Trabe who have been mentioned only twice before. In a way this episode does manage to make us a bit more sympathetic to the Kazon. It seems that, even though they are a warlike race, they are willing to discuss peace meaning that, deep inside, they really want an end to the hostilities. Unfortunately we don’t learn much about the Trabe, in fact all we learn is that, while they were a ‘culturally significant species, they were slavers who hated the Kazon. To me the revelation and the betrayal was far too sudden and really wasted the hints that were planted in past episodes. I imagine if this had been filmed today we would have had a multi episode alliance resulting in a much more shocking and frankly damaging betrayal by the Trabe. To me, they were not used to their potential and that is a huge miss.

A couple of interesting things did come out of this one though. First off, Voyager’s security sucks. I mean how the hell did Crewman Jonas send a message to the Kazon using Federation tech after they caught Seska doing it before. I mean seriously Tuvok should be ashamed. Speaking of Tuvok, we did learn some cool things about him.

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It would seem that our Vulcan Security Officer once tangled with Spock and argued with the famed Vulcan officer against the Klingon/Federation alliance. This establishes that Tuvok was in Star Fleet, or at least involved with Star Fleet around the time of the film Undiscovered Country. Interestingly we do see Tim Russ appear in Star Trek Generations aboard the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 B implying that, although he does not have his pointy ears in that film, it could have been Tuvok serving with Sulu’s daughter on that fateful first mission. While not exactly this, we do eventually get to explore some of Tuvok’s past…but that is getting ahead of ourselves.

While the episode’s pacing was decent, I will say it again, this plot should have been dragged out over the course of the remainder of the season giving us much more to lose in the long run. As it is it just feels like an hour long ad for Federation Ideals. Kind of a Federation Propaganda film if you will. ‘ONLY THE PRIME DIRECTIVE WILL SAVE YOU!’

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • 3 photon torpedoes fired, 34 remaining.
  • 0 shuttles lost/destroyed, 5 remaining
  • It is established that the food supplies will last several weeks.
  • I did like that Janeway still takes solace in Tuvok.
  • Neelix is actually pretty useful in this one…shame he never mentioned ANY of this stuff before…

Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Threshold

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 6/8/2020

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Hey, you’d never believe it but I’m someone special on a Star Ship and I don’t actually DO anything!

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

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